With two billion monthly active users, Instagram is currently the third most popular social media platform behind Facebook and YouTube. Nearly two out of three adults aged 18-29 (one of the most valuable demographics for advertising to target) use Instagram routinely.
When it comes to marketing your law firm, you’re likely aware of the power of social media and have wondered how to take advantage of Instagram for your marketing efforts. Instagram is quite different than Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and others, however. It’s photo-centric focus often makes it difficult for even the savviest of legal marketers.
Fortunately, there are some tried-and-true ways to make your Instagram account stand out and work for you. Below, we’ll discuss the do’s-and-don’ts of Instagram marketing for law firms, to hopefully give you an idea of where to start:
Do: Set Goals
It’s crucial to set the right expectations and goals. The best Instagram content will let your followers get to know you and your team better. In general, there are three main goals that you should have when posting to Instagram:
- Build your social media presence and connect with others in your area. You’ll want to focus on building awareness of your brand here, not necessarily fishing for active cases.
- Stay in touch with former clients. Satisfied clients will be more likely to follow you and interact with you on Instagram. Building your network and being a part of the community online can also help attract others to your firm’s profile.
- Recruiting new talent. As we mentioned above, Instagram’s user-base skews significantly toward those in college or just out of college, which is the perfect demographic for recruiting young talent to your firm.
Don’t: Be Overly Sales-y or “Spammy”
Using Instagram likely won’t work for you if you’re looking to put up content that looks like an advertisement for your firm. People on the platform aren’t looking to be “sold” in that manner, and are instead, looking for content that gives them a look “behind the curtain.”
Bombarding your followers with calls for cases or referrals is a surefire way to turn them away. Instead, don’t be afraid to use Instagram to show them who you are. Feature photos of your team, your office, and give your followers a glimpse of daily life around your firm. Make sure to capture pictures and video of your firm’s events (holiday parties, birthday parties, charity work) and share them on your profile.
Do: Invest in High-Quality Photos and Videos
Just because you aren’t publishing “ads” on your profile doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pay attention to the production quality of your posts. By investing in high-quality content like well-produced videos and high-quality photos, you will have more professional-looking (and likely more compelling) content for your followers to view.
Keep in mind that as a law firm, you still want to come across as professional and responsible. high-quality content can help project the right image. Posting low-quality, low resolution photos and videos can send the wrong message and can look cheap or poorly-planned.
As a side-note, be sure to carefully consider what you post to your profile. A photo or video of you or your team consuming alcohol or otherwise acting unprofessionally could project the wrong image. In general, wholesome, professional content will protect your firm’s image and will make the right impression.
Don’t: Buy Followers
Chances are, you’ve run across services that offer to sell you Instagram followers for a certain price. These services capitalize on individuals and businesses that want to increase their follower count quickly. While it might be tempting to take advantage of an instant followers service, it’s usually a shortcut that is not worth taking.
Most services will advertise their network as having “real” followers, but that’s usually not the case. In almost all cases, these providers set up dummy Instagram accounts that are not actually real users. This means that while your follower count might seem larger, you really won’t be tapping into a larger network of potential clients as you might with real accounts. These dummy accounts have little to no activity on them and typically have zero real followers themselves.
If you buy these fake followers, you’ll likely not see much (if any) return when it comes to engagement on your profile. Not to mention, Instagram frowns upon this practice, and you don’t want to put your firm’s account at risk of suspension!
Do: Be Yourself, Stay Active, and Build Your Law Firm’s Brand
Establishing your firm’s brand on Instagram requires effort and engagement. Don’t simply set up your profile, throw up a few photos and videos, and expect it to deliver clients. Instead, commit to capturing pictures or videos of your team, post them regularly, and be sure to interact with others.
Following others (your colleagues, former clients, local politicians, etc.) and liking, commenting, and engaging with them on Instagram is the best way to participate in the online community and establish your brand on Instagram.
Stay active and remember to stay true to your firm’s mission whenever posting. You’ll likely start to see engagement on your profile start to pick up as you become more active on it. Over time, it’s possible to see the positive returns in the form of applications for open positions and, hopefully, new case leads.